The distraught family of John Neville, a North Carolina black man who suffered a medical emergency and eventually died while in police custody, is outraged and demanding answers after a grand jury decided against indicting five Forsyth County deputies involved in the deadly incident.
After Neville begged officers to remove restraints after telling Forsyth County sheriffs he was unable to breathe, the 57-year-old black man detained for a misdemeanor charge, succumbed to the medical emergency, becoming comatose. He later died as he remained in custody in a North Carolina hospital.
In December of 2019, Neville suffered a medical emergency after being placed in a prone position which has contributed to other deaths in the past. The detainee was put on his stomach with his arms handcuffed behind his back and his legs chained to his wrists.
A medical examiner’s report confirmed Neville being restrained in a prone position caused positional and compressional asphyxiation that led to a heart attack and brain injury.
Neville’s death preceded those of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, both of which caused national protests and have called for significant changes in the treatment and processes for detaining suspects.
Body camera footage of the chaos that ensued recorded deputies insisting Neville “relax” in order to administer assistance, and eventually removing the handcuffs from his wrist and ankles with bolt cutters after breaking the key in the handcuffs.
A nurse on the scene told deputies and Forsyth County sheriffs that she could not see Neville breathing as the officers left the room leaving Neville on the floor unassisted.
A 45-minute video released shows the tragedy that lead to Neville’s death unfolding.
Warning the video below will be disturbing for some viewers.